Review: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Opening sentence: “So I am fifty-two years old.”

Wishful Drinking was late actress Carrie Fisher’s first memoir (she followed it up in 2011 with Shockaholic and in 2016 with The Princess Diarist) and in this snappy little biography (the book version of her one-woman 2008-2010 stage show of the same name), Carrie reveals her thoughts on growing up in Hollywood and having a movie star mum – Debbie Reynolds. She is also very open and honest about her addictions and bipolar disorder, saying that it took her years to actually work out what was affecting her moods – the disorder or the substances she was taking.

Carrie Fisher Wishful Drinking book review

Having watched interviews with Carrie Fisher over the years, her voice and tone comes through so clearly and effortlessly in Wishful Drinking. She is funny, biting, sarcastic, dry and – as the cover can attest to – does not shy away from the reason that most people probably know her.

Princess Leia seems to be a blessing and a curse to her – at one point she lists all the random Princess Leia merchandise available, from a Pez dispenser to a sex doll (and this was before Disney bought the rights to Star Wars in 2012 and seemingly allowed everyone to make Star Wars branded everything, seriously, the merchandise went nuts, there is literally NOTHING you can’t get now that is branded with Star Wars, I once even saw a netted bag of oranges that had Star Wars slapped on it…) and the fact that it’s Leia, not Carrie, on the cover suggests she is happy to be known, essentially, as Princess Leia.

Carrie reveals some amazing stories, including (aside from the ones you’ve probably heard about) Bob Dylan ringing her up to ask her advice on a name for a cologne he’s thinking about releasing, Cary Grant becoming her drugs councillor and that Star Wars director George Lucas wouldn’t let her wear a bra in her Star Wars scenes as, ‘...there’s no underwear in space.

Although not a long book, the pace is fast and – I imagine – much like it must have been talking to Carrie herself, there is never a dull moment as it is packed full of revelations. She also mentions that she wrote a novel, Postcards from the Edge, which I did not realise. Think I’ll be adding that to my TBR list.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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